football

Penn football will look to capitalize on its challenging schedule with another Ivy League championship in 2017.

Photo: Ilana Wurman / The Daily Pennsylvanian

Fans of Penn Athletics just got their first taste of what next year will look like.

Penn football, women’s soccer, and field hockey all recently released their fall 2017 schedules. The Quakers are looking forward to a competitive and successful season across the athletic department.

Penn football will begin its quest in defending back-to-back Ivy League titles on September 16 hosting Ohio Dominican, from the Division II Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference, the first ever meeting between these teams. The Panthers were 7-4 last season.

The Quakers play Dartmouth on September 30, in the first Ivy League game of the year. Penn defeated the Big Green 37-24 last season on the road and has won seven out of the last nine matchups between the two teams.

Later, Penn hosts rival Princeton in the Homecoming Game, after the Quakers’ crushing defeat to the Tigers last season 28-0 on the road. The last time the Quakers and Tigers met for Penn’s homecoming weekend, Penn won a nail-bitter 26-23 in overtime, after blocking a field goal at the end of regulation.

Penn finished with a record of 7-3 (6-1 Ivy) last season, but will enter 2017 without recently graduated quarterback Alex Torgersen, who signed with the Atlanta Falcons. The Quakers will return with 11 All-Ivy selections from last season, the most of any team, including senior defensive end Louis Vecchio and junior defensive back Mason Williams on the defensive unit. Coach Ray Priore, entering his third season, looks to continue his success, building on his 12-2 all-time Ivy record.

For Penn women's soccer, the Quakers will open the season against Lehigh on August 25, with a 14-2-1 all-time record against the Mountain Hawks.

The Ivy league opener is on September 23 against defending conference champion Harvard on the road, while the regular season finale is at home against Princeton on November 4.

An exciting part of the Quakers’ 2017 schedule is a trip to California, the first trip to the state for the team since 2012. The Quakers will face 2016 Big West runner-up University of California Irvine and UC Riverside.

Coach Nicole Van Dyke, entering her third season, hopes to lead the team to improvement this season, after finishing in the middle of the pack last season, with a 9-3-4 (2-2-3 Ivy) record.

Penn field hockey's schedule also features some marquee non-conference match-ups. The Quakers open the season with a pair of high-profile opponents, hosting Rutgers on September 1 and defending national finalist UNC two days later. After a month of play, Penn hosts Cornell on September 23 to begin conference play.

The biggest games of all will be against Delaware and Syracuse. The Blue Hens and Orange have won the last two NCAA championships in field hockey.

Senior forward and all-time leading Penn point scorer Alexa Hoover enters her final collegiate season for the Quakers, after the team finished in third place at 11-6 (4-3 Ivy) last year. Coach Colleen Fink hopes that Penn can challenge Harvard and Princeton in the standings this time around.

With the rest of the fall teams also expected to release their schedules shortly, more excitement is certain to come. And while we won't get to see any Quakers suit up for another couple of months, you can bet they're locking down and preparing for their challenging awaiting schedules.

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